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EDSA I not yours, Aquino, LP told

February 19, 2010

NO ONE—NOT EVEN THE AQUINO FAMILY AND THE LIBERAL PARTY (LP)—HOLDS A FRANCHISE TO THE HISTORICAL EVENT THAT WAS THE EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION, ACCORDING TO PARTY-LIST REP. SATUR OCAMPO.
“EDSA I is not yours,” Ocampo, who is running for the Senate under the Nacionalista Party (NP), told the rival LP as he insisted it could not take ownership of the revolt of the masses in February, 1986.
Ocampo told reporters at a campaign sortie in Aklan that the icon of people power, the late President Corazon Aquino, was merely a “byproduct” of that people’s movement.
“EDSA I is a specific event that was not invented or led by one particular person. No one has a franchise on EDSA I,” he said.
Asked if the ideals of EDSA were still relevant 24 years after it deposed a dictator and brought back democracy, Ocampo replied that many issues remained unresolved after the bloodless revolt.
“EDSA I is not dead not because it has to be revived, but because the expectations it raised have not been fully realized. That is why the call for change continues, especially under the worsening condition presided over by Macapagal-Arroyo,” he said.
He warned the LP against “desecrating” the EDSA I celebration by using the event to further the party’s political interests, drawing attention to “reports that the camp of LP presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III, the son of Cory, would use the event to further his political ambition.”
Other NP candidates echoed Ocampo amid preparations to commemorate starting on Feb. 22, the 24th anniversary of the peaceful revolt that brought down the Marcos dictatorship and installed Corazon Aquino as President.
Sen. Manuel Villar, NP standard-bearer, said that the country did not need another EDSA revolt since people were looking forward for a sea change to take root in the country after the May 10 elections.
He said that another EDSA revolt would cause the country more troubles. “The May election is coming—about 70 days are left and the change being sought will be realized,” he said.
Villar’s running mate Loren Legarda voiced the same position. “Different times call for different circumstances. If EDSA I was relevant 25 years ago, the fight today is against poverty and joblessness,” she said.
The NP candidates were reacting to the launch of the “Ituwid Natin” discussions aired over ANC starting this week as a prelude to EDSA I anniversary.
Guests invited to the discussions agreed on the consensus that the country was “in a vicious cycle” of euphoria, disappointment, discontent and rejection that had held the country down in the years following the EDSA I revolt.
“We are in a vicious cycle. We unite together, we overthrow corrupt government, then weakness comes in, allegations of corruption crop up, resulting in rejection of government not only by the people but even its allies,” noted Ateneo Law School dean Cesar Villanueva, who co-hosted the show with TV host Toni Gonzaga.
Discussions covered the gains and lessons learned from the EDSA I revolt and the so-called EDSA II uprising.